Archive for the Uncategorized Category

A breach in Malaysia

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2013 by philcurryf1

I wonder if the Ferrari team management will look back at the malaysian grand prix, and feel they got away without a severe media lashing.

Teams on the pit wall get the same TV feed as the fans, so they would have known the state of Alonso’s front wing. Why they thought it would last a few more laps is beyond anyone. Yes, Fernando was running ok, and yes, he would have needed to stop for slicks. But it wasn’t a risk worth taking. They did, the wing came off, game over.

As it was, there was a much bigger story, that of team orders. Both red Bull and Mercedes employed them, with different effects. I’ve read a few reports, people complaining that team orders ruin the sport. So to clarify – both teams let their drivers race up until the final stops, then asked them to settle. the points for the constructors are, at this stage of the season, more important than those for the drivers. If a team can build a big lead, it can let its drivers race till the end later on.

Mark Webber had controlled most of the race, and was on the slower tyre as per his strategy at the end. He deserved the win, and believed the team was holding station. With performance tuned down, he cruised. Vettel had other ideas, and despite being told ‘multi 21’ he fought to take the lead. As it was, Webber let him through. But Vettel’s actions have cost him quite a lot of lost respect among fans.

At Mercedes, Hamilton was struggling with fuel issues. The team had not put enough fuel in, and decided to stop the cars from pushing each other until the end. Despite Rosberg’s pleas, he was told to stay behind. Hamilton looked genuinally bashful at the end, proclaiming that Rosberg deserved third. If only Vettel had been the same…

A great race has provided talking points, however history will record a Vettel victory and another podium for Lewis.

Australia Fair…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2013 by philcurryf1

Well, what a start to the F1 season!

I don’t think many people realistically expected Kimi to win the first race of the year, but the Lotus certainly had pace. Add to that the resurgence of Ferrari, the continued presence of Red Bull – despite eating tyres – and a strong showing from Mercedes, and it would seem F1 2013 could be as exciting as last year.

Of course, I’ve discussed before that I feel last season ended on a bit of an anti-climax, after promising so much. Indeed, with all the winners (8 in the whole season), it came down to the most dominant driver of 2011, and a driver handicapped by his car.

For 2013 already, we see that Ferrari is hitting the ground running. Mercedes can build, Lotus seem to have decent pace from the beginning, and we all knew Red Bull would be in the mix. Four constructors with good cars, should make for an exciting season.

The main talking point from this race will be the tyres. Ultimately, Kimi won by making two stops instead of three. Mercedes also tried this, but their car was a bit harder on the tyres than the Lotus, resulting in Hamilton losing places and finishing in 5th. Alonso drove a calm and assured race to finish second, while Vettel struggled with tyre wear, and could only bring his car home third. Massa continued his resurgence with a 4th place, after out-qualifying Alonso on Saturday, and Mark Webber was 6th.

Missing from all this front running action were the McLarens, with Button 9th, and Perez 11th. They have some serious work to do to prevent Eddie Jordan from describing the car as a ‘dog’ in China.

How I’ll watch F1 in 2013

Posted in Uncategorized on March 10, 2013 by philcurryf1

With the F1 2013 season just around the corner, I should probably point out how I’ll be watching the races this year. Unfortunately, new baby means money in the AAF1 household has new priorities, like nappies, milk and toys (is it wrong to by a Scalextric track for a newborn?). This means for another year, I will be making do with the BBC coverage, nine races plus highlights.

But I’m not upset. I’ve always enjoyed BBC F1’s coverage of the races, and feel last year that they excelled even their previous full seasons. Ben Edwards is an assured commentator, David Coulthard is perfect as a pundit and co-commentator, and Sky will never be able to replicate Eddie – the man who can just walk into a garage and drag people out…!

I think the BBC also did well chosing Suzi Perry to replace Jake Humphrey – big shoes to fill, but with her passion for motorsport, and her similar fun presenting style, It is sure to be another year of great coverage.

So blog posts after races may be delayed – I’m old school, until I have watched it, I don’t want to know results, who went out etc.

Let’s get ready for F1 2013!

A new F1 fan…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2013 by philcurryf1

It’s been a little while since my last post to the blog, but with good reason. I’m proud to say that on Wednesday 13th February, my wife gave birth to a baby boy! Ayrton Colin Daniel Curry was born at 3.46pm, and already has a plethora of F1 related baby clothes and bibs. I’ve also managed to get his feed routine to fall in line with the Australian GP on March 17th, so I’ve an even better reason to get up with him!

ayrton

Anyway, now I’m back, and will throw up a few posts on recent goings on – including testing and driver announcements!

Goodbye Jake!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27, 2012 by philcurryf1

When F1 came back to the BBC in 2009, the corporation needed to try something different. When it left the BBC, F1 was just a bit-part of Grandstand, with no main anchor in its own right. ITV changed the format, employing first Jim Rosenthal and then Steve Ryder in the main role.

So the BBC needed a different dynamic, and they got it. Teaming up the outspoken Eddie Jordan and reserved David Coulthard with the young presenter fresh away from his CBBC days, the ‘three amigos’ effect, as seen on Top Gear, created a show with laughs, fun and F1. Even this year, with the Sky deal taking half the beeb’s races away, the coverage has still be better due to the fun factor.

Watching Jake wingwalk, present from a campsite, and a hot air balloon, has made F1 enjoyable. It is not just about the news anymore, but the banter. Hopefully someone will come in with the same levels of humour and enjoyment to carry on with DC and EJ, but understandably, after four years, Jake wants to spend time with his new family. It’s a shame, but thanks for the memories!

Vettel’s treble

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27, 2012 by philcurryf1

So another F1 season draws to a close, and despite my earlier musings on feeling cheated, the final race of the season turned out to be a nail biter after all. With Vettel spinning, damaging his car and rejoining last, the hallmarks were there. Would he make places up? Would the damage to the rear of the car prove too much? Could Alonso capitalise?

Of course, we know the answer, and it’s congratulations to Vettel and Red Bull on their third consecutive double championship. Whether they can continue that trend into next year remains to be seen, but I certainly wouldn’t bet against them.

Ferrari, for all accounts, must be feeling lucky to have finished 2nd in the constructors race, with a car that many will agree is a dog. They also have Hulkenberg to thank, as taking Hamilton out of the race meant that McLaren couldn’t amass enough points to overtake them. Had McLaren finished 1-2, or even 1-3, they would have been second.

Therefore, Ferrari have ridden their luck a lot this season, to finish where they have. Next year however, they will need more than luck. Another poor car, or poor strategies, and heads will begin to roll. Alonso has shown his class this year with a bad car, so Ferrari must be kicking themselves to know that with an extra 4/10s pace, they could have had the drivers title.

As for McLaren, there was no fairytale ending for Lewis Hamilton, instead his season continued the dramatic ebbs which it had for so long. Fighting for the win, with a dominant car beneath him again, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time – boxed behind a backmarker while an overtaking move from Hulkenberg ended in him sliding into the McLaren. Lewis walked away, having lost what could have been his last win for a while.

So ends the story of 2012. A dramatic race, which saw titles decided, and minor positions won – Caterham taking 10th in the constructors at the death – Now we look forward to F1 2013, and what I suspect, will be another battle between Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren.

Driver movements, minor placings

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2012 by philcurryf1

After Lewis Hamilton announced he was moving to Mercedes, and Massa was announced at Ferrari, there has been little excitement with driver moves. Hulkenberg moving to Sauber almost passed under the radar.

But there have been a number of key announcements (one early by accident) at the Brazilian GP this weekend. Firstly, Esteban Gutierrez will be promoted to a race seat at Sauber, thanks to his talent, and his backing from Telmex. This means Sauber will have a completely new line up next season, although worries that this will affect car set-up should be vanquished when you realise that Gutierrez has spent two years as test-and-reserve driver, so the team know him well.

The second announcement is perhaps a bit more of a surprise, although not perhaps unexpected. Marussia’s Charles Pic is to move to Caterham for 2013. It is expected that reserve driver Max Chilton will take his place in the black and red cars next year.

Caterham are currently 11th in the constructors standings, and if they fail to finish higher than 12th this weekend, they will lose out on a considerable chunk of prize money. It therefore makes sense for them to hire drivers with sponsorship. Vitaly Petrov currently provides this, with Heikki Kovalainen offering experience. Heikki has already said his seat is not safe, and it remains to be seen whether the team will run Pic and Petrov, or replace both

The talk at Williams is that Bruno Senna may also be on his way out, replaced by Vilttari Bottas, who has given some impressive runs in Friday practice sessions for the team. Senna was expected to take a berth at Caterham if he lost his seat, but with Pic there, the story is now less clear. He has made it known he wants to stay with Williams, but another team with a spare seat, and in need of funding, is Force India. Also in the frame here is Kobyashi (although apparently not favoured) and Adrian Sutil.

One thing is for sure, the driver merry-go-round is far from over!